Yoga Rhythms Workshop – This is how I practise

 

Yoga Rhythms with Blaithin 

Blaithin is taking her personal practice to Salt and Soul Friday 14th October.  Practicing Yoga with dance music playing she has called it Yoga-Rhythms.   When asked to put pen to paper and explaining the class we got a long answer to a short question but one worth sharing…

ay2

‘Why Yoga and Dance music?’

Well 5 years ago I went to india to learn the art of teaching yoga.  We were taught breathwork (pranayama) and yoga postures and alignments (the asanas), we were taught how to teach the postures and adjust during teaching, we were taught how to sequence postures so as to balance the body.  In addition we also learned of the physical and emotional benefits of the pranayamas and asanas.  Most importantly though we explored an understanding of  Yamas and Niyamas, the Yogi’s ethical guidelines for good-living.  The concept that kept drawing me in, asking for my attention was the Yama Satya, Truthfulness! What is your truth?  In every and all situations, when you’re angry, when you’re happy, when you’re tired or happily chilled. What is your truth, who are you under all of that?  When I came home that question continued to colour my daily life.  Getting breakfast, what is my truth, what do I really want to eat?  Driving out to Strandhill, which way do I really want to go, by the front of the mountain or the backroad?   I applied this question to all the little moments of my life (and still do), it felt great but yes, I was late a lot!  Overtime I found I was getting answers to bigger questions, questions that I hadn’t realised I was asking, the questions that lurk in the backroads of your mind! And sometimes with that clarity came the need for bravery and as I write I can’t help but hear the Mylo Sunworshipper tune buzz around my head.

‘…I had the college, I had the earning the money and the material trip, I just decided I was going to find a new way of life, so I took off on my bicycle…’

ay3

Well I took off on my yoga mat.  In Yoga there’s a lot of talk of the disciplined practice, a daily commitment, a focused intention.  I was paying focused attention to every aspect of my life, I felt I was being a good girl, you know?, and really working on these things.  When I came to my mat, when I asked myself ‘what’s my truth?’, I realised I felt burdened by this question, I felt ‘enough with the teaching!’, I just want to be, I just want to yoga!  And jesus it hit me, in a moment of frustration, when I wanted to practice but was tired of being so damn serious…I just want to Dance!!  Ooh and dance I did, and laughed at myself, and then cried, as a good Yogi should, as I had a found a truth!

I don’t always practice with tunes pumping, but when I do, it is for me, the most exhilarating and liberating time spent.  I have over the years refined, dare I say ‘disciplined’ the practice so it still holds the true essence of Yoga.  Drawing breathwork in to the rhythm of the music, moving the body in rhythm with the breath.  I like to use a long steady beat to complete a fully balanced sequence then freestyle through some old time favourites.  A recent visit to Sligo by House of Yoga has inspired me and dissolved the last of my doubts, feeling brave enough now to share this practice, to share my truth.  I think of the Niyama Santosa, meaning acceptance. This is how I practise.

ay4

 

Advertisements

Julie Potter – Faces and Places – The Healing Touch

A Sista’s Journey

I have a tendency to relate all happenings over the last five years back to the day it all ended and all started August 31st 2011, my life is now ‘before’ or ‘after’ that day. I wasn’t looking for a new beginning and I had no desire to lose anything of my current life, but sometimes you don’t get a choice and you find yourself looking towards a life you would never have imagined…one that continues endlessly into the future… without Paul!

One of the most beautiful souls I have ever known left this world on his own accord. The many reasons that would bring a person to the point where believing that removing themselves from this world is the only solution for all those that love them pale to insignificance. The heartbreak lies in realising they they believed that they were the problem.

We'll Walk

We’ll Walk – Julie Potter

Following Pauls death we all started taking more time to do the things we loved, a natural inclination that we supported each other in. Doing the things you love helps to heal your heart, its a long process and has taken years …but it works!

Julie had been teaching Art in Dublin, and still is, but had not been indulging in any of her own work. As teenagers we used to love going into Penneys, buying cheap t-shirts and cutting them into funkier versions, spray painting designs and sewing new shapes. We were often mistaken for sisters myself and Julie, I liked the idea, we matched, Julie was arty and I was crafty! This was one of those forgotten pastimes that brought so much joy but that we ‘grew out of’ or ‘moved on from’. Then Julie got the itch again, it started for me with a hoody, using bleach, she created two silhouettes, a girl with a Surfboard and a Kitesurfer.

Surf-Kite Hoody

That hoody brought me great comfort, I wore it like a hug. Then a second hoody emerged, a mans hoody, she’d created an image that reflected the ethos of the friendships we shared and a common phrase we used…havin’ a laugh!

Havin' a Laugh Hoody

Havin’ A Laugh!

The seeds of ideas were sprouting.

One year on and we were all still working on healing the past. I couldn’t see at that time that I was taking my first steps on a whole new journey. A journey that was supported by amazing family and mindblowing friendships, old and new! But I wasn’t the only one, new chapters were opening in all of our lives, changed careers, old hobbies revisited, new hobbies found. Many many new chapters and we supported each other through it all, we became better at being good people to each other and it felt good.

Julie was on a journey too, the colours of her journey decorated mine with beauty, softness and calm. She’d disappear for a time, then re-emerged with a new piece of art, giant canvases, no longer using ripped up t-shirts having instead moved on to using industrial rolls of black t-shirt fabric. Her partner built her an Art studio in their garden and in what seemed a very short time she had enough work for an exhibition… Calm in the Chaos. It represented for me all that we had been through, finding peace and sometimes mischief in the raindrops of an endlessly rainy day.

Broken Brollies

Broken Brollies – Julie Potter

Five years on and Julie is having her third solo exhibition, entitled ‘Faces and Places’. There is one line from her artist statement that has prompted me to put pen to paper myself …

You are essentially pulling an image from the darkness of the fabric, something maybe imperfect, but always real.”

We have to accept that life has its darkness, they cannot be avoided. But the images we choose to pull from the darkness creates the canvas of our new life. With ‘Face and Places’ I think of the friends we have, the family we love, and the places we go together to share the moments of our life.

Family Time

Family Time – Julie Potter

Thank you Julie, my soul Sista for sharing this life’s journey.

Beautiful Chaos

Beautiful Chaos – Julie Potter

Julie’s new exhibition Faces & Places opens Thursday evening 16th June in Dublin, we would love to have you join us. www.juliepotter.com

Click here to view the event page for Julie’s new Faces & Places exhibition!

38bc15_49f6bb44f2354e3baf0a87227900285b-mv2_d_1740_2490_s_2

Written by Blaithin Sweeney

Northwest Adventure Tours

Northwest Adventure Tours have been ongoing for 5 years. Northwest Adventure Tours is a company specialising in guided biking, hiking and stand up paddle boarding tours in the stunning North West of Ireland. We asked William and Warner to give us some insight into this exciting venture…

We love getting out and about and showing what our wonderful area has to offer. There are so many amazing places right on our doorstep and a great way to see them is hiking or biking.

We have both biked and hiked in and around Sligo since we were kids so this was a dream job for us. Now, 4 years later we couldn’t see ourselves doing anything else. We love exploring Sligo and the surrounding areas. When we’re not working, we’re doing the same things.

nwat2

We love what we do. Being outdoors and having a great time is the majority of our work. We do spend time in the office, but that can be fun too. We love planning new and exciting trips. It’s not hard to keep going. It’s a lot of fun and seeing people enjoy themselves makes it even more worthwhile.

Our favourite location to go out in Sligo….Hmmm… That is a tough one. For biking has to be up around the Ox Mountains. Lovely trails for all abilities along with beautiful scenery. For hiking, it has to be the Dartry Mountains. So many hidden gems and adventures to be had. We love it all, really. There’s fun and beauty in every corner of Sligo from the coast to the tops of the mountain.

Getting out and about is good for the mind and body. We take groups out from all walks of like and we can see the benefit immediately. It just makes you feel great. I’m smiling thinking about it, haha! Whether it’s a learning skill like mountain biking where you can go and blow off some steam or socialise with the local riders on the weekly spin or fully get away from it all on one of our hikes or overnight camping adventures.

There is no rush on our trips so we spend our time enjoying the adventure and taking in the unspoilt natural beauty of the Northwest. A day adventuring in nature is one you will never forget and we can’t think of a better way to spend your time.

Nature is fuel for the soul so fill up now!

Discover more at northwestadventuretours.ie

Follow Northwest Adventure Tours on social media

Facebook              Instagram              Twitter

nwatlogo

 

Havin’ A Laugh Digital Detox Adventure Challenge with Amy Conroy

Rennafix Group launched their first overnight Digital Detox Adventure Challenge at the Havin’ a Laugh Adventure and Wellness Weekend 20th – 21st May.  Amy Conroy joined the challenge, was limited to taking 5 photos and had this to say about her 24 hour experience…27315972112_56a4cf9c34_o

At 6pm on Friday evening, the 20th May, our tribe was assembled at Annaghmore estate, we were introduced to our new adventure buddies and after getting our survival kits checked by our hosts NorthWest Adventure Tours we took off from Annaghmore to begin our 24 hours Digital Detox Adventure. We turned our phones off and conversations were struck up, the first being about about our collective excitement at the prospect of being device free for the weekend.

The first stop on our adventure was the Lake Isle of Innisfree where we began to hike up and over the scenic hillsides of the Sligo Way towards Slish Wood, encompassing views over Lough Gill and beyond as we went. The path led us to a magical stretch of lush green foliage and forestry where all that could be heard was the murmur of chatter amongst the group and the birds singing in the trees.

digi4

We meandered up through the woodland to where we would be camping for the night. We pitched our tents under the protection of the trees and began the hunt for wood to get a fire going. Gavin ‘Sherpa’ Conlon was on hand to help us transport our equipment to the camp site and briefed us with some top notch technical advice about our gear! Chef Britton got busy in the kitchen whipping up some gourmet burgers and once with our bellies were full it was time to gathered around the camp fire to get warm and tell a few ghost stories!
Sam ‘Shanachie Extraordinaire’ captivated us with tales of ancient Egypt, Irish Mythology, Astrology, Star Wars and his encounters with Buzz Aldrin’s best friend who once got in a fist fight with Don Johnson (Miami Vice ) …pure magic!

digi2

The next morning we took a mug from the tea tree, got some breakfast and set off once again deep into the hills of Slish Wood where we met with Conall from Carraig Climbing who showed us the ropes and sent us abseiling down a rock face 90ft high! The sensation of edging your way over the edge of the rock face sent adrenaline coursing through the body. Once over the edge we had to angle ourselves at nearly 90 degrees looking up to the sky before we could begin to descend like characters from a Marvel comic…nail biting stuff! Voices of encouragement echoed as each person made their way down the wall followed by a round of applause as everyone reached the bottom.

digi5

We regrouped after our abseil and snacked on some energy balls courtesy of Sweet Beat Cafe and once again were on our way leaving Slish Wood to traverse the Sligo Way path up through Slieve Deane, Slieve Dargan until we reached the stunningly beautiful Lough Lumman. Sam once again regaled us with tales of local folklore and brought us back through time to arrive at a moment that resembled a scene of Lord of The Rings. How could I have never seen this part of Sligo before? The heather was vibrant purple, the gorse bright yellow, the stone pathway and the bog.

Before long we were met on the path by the Wildman Warner who had delicious treats for lunch waiting for us. We tucked into tasty sambos and soup from Cafe Fleur and got ready to hop on mountain bikes for the next leg of the journey. We headed off for our cycle and peddled our way through Union Wood where our legs got a good work out! We were met with smiles by everyone we met including a welcoming wag from a charming bloodhound. After a quick puncture repair we set off for the final leg back towards Annaghmore Estate.

digi9

We left our bikes and set off on foot once again to meander through the lush green fields to our final destination. From the distance we heard a noise that sounded like thunder which got louder the further we went. As we walked the last 200ft we could see bodies gathered around this massive communal drum.

There was something so moving about  about this moment, we had all made the decision to remove  any digital distractions and instead spent time immersing ourselves in nature and taking part in exhilarating activities, getting outdoors, making connections and havin’ a laugh!